Love Life is a Zikoko weekly series about love, relationships, situationships, entanglements and everything in between.
Imeh, 25, and Damola, 26, have been dating for two years. This week on Love Life, they talk about meeting on a dating app, spending over a year in a long-distance relationship before moving in together.
What’s your earliest memory of each other?
Damola: In 2020, we met on a dating app for lesbians called HER. I was excited to find a lesbian from Nigeria, a unicorn to me at the time. Once we connected, we started talking nonstop.
Imeh: I was supposed to be studying. In fact, I was sitting in the library, swiping through the app, when I came across your profile. Then, I just sat there texting Damola. She lived in Orlando and I lived in Saint Louis, but it didn’t matter at the time.
Damola: Until we stopped talking. I ghosted after a while because I wasn’t in the right place for a relationship. I was still hurt from being dumped by my ex, and I felt like I couldn’t put my shit on a girl in med school.
As months passed, I regained my confidence and began to develop my mental health. But I was too ashamed to reach out to her. I didn’t even know what to say.
How did you two reconnect?
Imeh: In 2021, I finally reached out to her. I wanted to see how she was doing with COVID and everything. I sent her a text message and hoped she’d reply.
Damola: When I got her text, I was surprised. I almost crashed my car. One of her messages was something along the lines of “How is your mental health?” I’d never felt more seen than in that moment and I will forever be grateful for it. I responded to her and it was so easy to get back to talking every minute.
What did you two talk about?
Imeh: Any and everything.
Damola: For one, I told her how much I’d worked on myself since my previous relationships. I wanted to be with someone who understood that I didn’t want to come out to my family.
Imeh: Yeah. We used our talking stage to understand each other on a deeper level and that gave our relationship a solid foundation.
How did the relationship start?
Imeh: I asked her on a date to get drinks. She said no one had offered to buy her a drink before, and I told her we’d go out after the pandemic.
Damola: We started dating when you came to Orlando. I was supposed to go to Saint Louis but we changed plans because of work.
Seeing Imeh for the first time was amazing. We waited at Papa John’s around midnight to get pizza. Imeh’s hand brushed over mine, and I felt electricity rush through my body. In fact, that week was incredible.
Imeh: It was supposed to be three days, but the weather was horrible — it had snowed to about ten inches off the ground. I couldn’t travel so I postponed my trip. First of all, it was really sweet that Damola brought me flowers at the airport.
Damola: I thought it’d be awkward to meet her after only ever talking online, but Imeh and I clicked immediately. I felt so comfortable in her home, like she’d been living with me forever.
Imeh: It was like a vacation. We stayed in your apartment, talking and watching movies.
Then, we went to the lake and got on a swan boat ride even though I was terrified as hell because Damola can’t swim. We did a bunch of other things together, and by the time it ended, we were a couple.
Nice! What’s the relationship like so far?
Imeh: Initially, it was difficult because we were a long-distance couple. Damola was shuffling between Orlando and Saint Louis every other week and that was expensive. I later gained admission into medical school and moved to Wisconsin. She was in my apartment all the time but I didn’t like the amount of money she had to spend to see me.
Damola: Since I was planning to do my master’s. I got admission to a school in Wisconsin, and we were like, why don’t we just move in together? I moved in with Imeh after one year of dating.
What’s that been like?
Imeh: So far, it’s been great. I think the biggest thing for us is transparency and talking about our emotions. It’s been difficult for me because I’d never been this vulnerable in a relationship before. But it helps us communicate with each other better.
Damola: Moving to Wisconsin was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Before then, I was always worried about how she was coping with medical school while I was away. And as Imeh said, we’re both learning to communicate emotions. I don’t like stressing her so if I can do it on my own, I just do it.
If Imeh is uncomfortable with something I’ve done, she tells me and vice versa. We don’t do the whole “don’t go to sleep angry” thing because we don’t even wait till that point. We try to deal with it as soon as it arises, and that’s good for us. I would say that our communication is top-notch.
Imeh: I agree. I appreciate how we can both handle things like mature adults.
Damola: I had to work on that and my mental health. I wanted to do better in this relationship than my last one.
Sweet! I’m curious about your biggest fight. What was it about?
Damola: My conspiracy theories. I don’t believe them but I love them. Recently, I went on Twitter and some people were talking COVID theories. I was so fascinated by it I went to tell Imeh.
Imeh: Being a medical student, I was like, “how is she reading this on Twitter? There’s research that proves the theory is impossible.” I didn’t understand how you could ever think that way. That’s how an argument ended up happening. We went back and forth for a while.
Damola: I was like, “I know you’re smart but I’m a Yoruba woman — I don’t want your research papers right now. I want you to confirm my conspiracy theories or not.” I was seeking comfort and Imeh was using logic to approach the situation. Things got heated up but eventually fizzled out and we talked at length about it.
What attracts you both to each other?
Imeh: Damola is extremely charismatic. She can talk to anyone anywhere and make friends with them. My friends love her more than me because of this.
Damola: For me, it’s her intelligence. Imeh is wicked smart, and I’m so attracted to that. She grounds us and that’s an amazing trait. She’s also very beautiful.
Aww. Rate this relationship on a scale of one to ten
Damola: 9.9 and that’s because Imeh always makes me wear a seatbelt in the back seat. Other than that, our relationship is perfect.
Imeh: LOL. I won’t back down about safety. For me, Damola is definitely my soul mate. We bring out the best version of ourselves when we’re together. So I give us a solid 10.
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